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What if the War of 1812 Went the Other Way?


Canadian acting legend Gordon Pinsent joins his son-in-law and star of
The War of 1812: Been There, Won That Peter Keleghan at Fort York

Stars aligned at Fort York last night (Oct. 3) to celebrate the premiere screening of the CBC Doc Zone's documentary, The War of 1812: Been There, Won That. The doc - which stars Peter Keleghan - explores "the myths and mysteries, mayhem and marvels of this 'forgotten' war". Guests were treated to the screening (featured on a blow-up screen) on a lawn right in the middle of the Fort as those involved with the film gathered for a reception inside one of the barracks. 

We were at Fort York to capture the night's event. Just take a look...

In between snapping photos, we also had the chance to speak with some of the stars who were in attendance to ask them their opinion on an alternative outcome of the War of 1812.

CBC Live: What if the War of 1812 went the other way?

John Northcott: We would probably be American, but would we be a single state? Would we be a number of states? Would Upper and Lower Canada become separate states? What would have happened to Western Canada? If it were a state, than it would be the largest American state, which would probably be ungovernable as a state. If it grew to the current proportion, it would be 30 million people, which would make it as large in population as California. So it could potentially be the largest, most powerful American state.

Angela Asher: And we were governed by Americans? Gee, we'd have a two-party system wouldn't we, with really no choice. That's my political statement, I mean, the debates are on tonight, so we would be the same. We'd be down to Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. No choice. We would be screwed.

Peter Keleghan: [laughs] America. I mean, we certainly have enough American influence now, as I called it: Fast Food Culture. It's stuff that's cheap, addictive that controls our culture. It's about big business controlling our culture. We're close enough now but I think the major difference between America and Canada is conflict. America had the Civil War and the Revolutionary War and 9/11 and presidents assassinated whereas Canada just kind of, sort of languished in this very privileged place and we've been privileged all the way along. We're very, very lucky people and in some ways a little bit more civilized than our friends in the south.

Gordon Pinsent: I was only there for a short time in real life so I really didn't see an awful lot of the changeover because the Americans always think it's theirs anyways as they do today. Someone actually said to me once this is the farthest north I've been - in Texas. I have a feeling it would have been just simply more of the same. They had their camp sent for a certain kind of country and we would have followed right along except they would have had a lot more forestry, and snow and far less natural talent than they have because they would try to get away with their own. But I think it was just a matter of time so I don't think it would have been huge; the change. I think the flag would have been a little strange with Canada on one side and the United States on the other. We would have come along at some point - it was just a matter of time.

Take a look at a preview of The War of 1812: Been There, Won That:

Catch The War of 1812: Been There, Won That 
on CBC Television tonight (Thursday, October 4) at 8pm


Peter Keleghan on The War of 1812: Been There, Won That



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